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La Plata Physical Therapy, Inc.
Physical Therapy and Technology
La Plata Physical Therapy, Inc.
. http://www.laplatapt.com/

Physical Therapy and Technology

Osteoarthritis is the loss of cartilage between two bones. Most commonly, it affects the weight bearing joints such as the knee, hip, and spine. Symptoms of osteoarthritis can include pain with activity within a joint, decreased range of motion, muscle weakness or a feeling of a joint or limb “giving way”, decreased balance due to muscle weakness and cartilage erosion, and functional limitations. When these signs and symptoms become unbearable, they can disrupt a person's life. In this case a knee replacement surgery may be considered. A knee replacement surgery is performed when the pain or decrease of function interferes with daily activity.

Often times a referral for “pre-hab”, otherwise known as physical therapy, may be prescribed before the surgery. This entails a course of therapy aimed at increasing the strength of the muscles in the affected leg. Physical therapy that occurs before the knee replacement surgery focuses on exercises and activities that can take place in a traditional clinic setting or in an aquatic medium.

A major benefit of aquatic therapy is buoyancy. Buoyancy is a force working in the opposite direction of gravity. The benefit of receiving physical therapy in an aquatic medium is that body weight is reduced and the impact on painful joints is minimized. Strengthening exercises are performed to increase muscle weakness, joint range of motion, and mobility while decreasing pain. Physical therapy prior to a knee replacement surgery benefits a patient by increasing the strength of the muscles in the affected leg. The warmth of the heated Hydroworx aquatic therapy pool allows patients to exercise in a more pain free environment. This advanced therapy pool includes technology such as an embedded treadmill with variable speed, resistance jets for balance training and variable intensities, and an underwater video monitoring system to correct gait mechanics and posture in real time. This therapeutic treatment option can provide positive results in the “pre-hab” process.

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